Supreme Court Hears Foreclosure Case Involving Colorado Homeowner

“There were probably a dozen amicus briefs filed by debt collection companies and banks against Mr. Obduskey.” ~Geoff Walsh attorney at the National Consumer Law Center

 

 

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments for a case involving a Colorado foreclosure that bears the capacity to have an impact on homeowners across the country.

According to Geoff Walsh, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center the central issue is about defining who is and isn’t a debt collector and what protections under the language in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act apply to agents of mortgage servicing companies. The NCLC prepared a brief for the justices in support of the homeowner, Dennis Obduskey.

“There were probably a dozen amicus briefs filed by debt collection companies and banks against Mr. Obduskey.”

Obduskey obtained the loan in 2007, and while reports suggest he defaulted on the loan as early as 2009, foreclosure steps weren’t taken until 2014, Walsh explained the gap in time is likely a result of some ambiguity as efforts to modify the home loan were made on a number of occasions over the five year period. Obduskey ultimately sent a letter to the law firm McCarthy & Halthus, representing Wells Fargo, the bank that services the mortgage and requested they provide information regarding the amount due, which the law firm failed to respond to before taking steps to sell the property.

Walsh said roughly half the states in the country allow non judicial foreclosures while the remaining states require some manner of judicial oversight before foreclosures can occur. Colorado he described as unique in that it’s something of a model that employs both through the appointing of a trustee.

The foreclosure was never completed and Walsh said he believes Obduskey remains in his home, awaiting the court’s decision.